CREDOS: In bloom — III

Claire Beynon

She took the bag from me, unfolded the blanket, and scattered a summer garden into the room. I caught my breath. Alisaundre stirred in her sleep. I stood entranced as I listened to Judy name the colours she had knitted into this striped blanket, a work of art that both described and spelled my first child’s name: “Aloe, Lichen, Iris, Sage, Alum, Ultramarine, Nasturtium, Dandelion, Red iron oxide and English marigold. Alisaundre.”

Judy spread her worn hand over the rainbow. Wool the colour of softest sand separated each of the coloured rows. “I dyed the wool in my tub, then spun it into skeins,” she went on. “I used my best needles to knit the colours. With time, the weave will stretch and the blanket grow, just as Alisaundre will.”

I didn’t know what to say, or how. The blanket was more than beautiful, more than profound, more than fantastic. I gathered it in my arms and burrowed my face into it. It smelled of distant fields and lazy sheep, summer flowers and the rich earth’s perfume. I draped it lightly over my daughter as she slept. Judy bent down to kiss her gently on the forehead, and together we tiptoed out of the room.

That was fourteen years ago. The same small blanket that fit the wicker basket grew with the baby to fit the crib, comforted my toddler in her day bed, and followed my girl to her full-size bed. Every night, Judy’s flowers snuggle close to the lovely long-limbed young woman who is my daughter, Alisaundre.